“Royal Love”, is an installation by Sonia Falcone (Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 1965) created using a species of inflorescence plant, endemic to Bolivian rainforests, that takes many years to bloom, and whose extraordinary dimensions and forms make it a unique sculpture. Sonia Falcone discovered them in a hidden market in an ancient city, where they are known as Flor de Soto. Falcone uses a process reminiscent of the effect of Edward Weston’s close-up photography, with which he gave us back the feeling of awe for the beauty and complexity of vegetable forms.
This time, she transports that awe from the popular market square to the palace- museum, while emphasizing the “sculptures found” character of these flowers."
The flowers are gold-plated and installed as quasi-abstract upright forms in a repetitive and symmetrical structure, which echoes an evergreen forest that is poised on a dark surface that duplicates its own image. The choice of the base material, black and reflective, is associated with Mesoamerica’s mythology of the smoked mirror: Tezcatlipoca, the god of contrasts and dualisms, who wore a dark flint mirror in his chest in which he could see all the actions and thoughts of humanity. It is a way of duplicating the effect of bringing a natured-based mythology of unfathomable ages in ancient America to the D. João IV hall.
The installation, located in the center of the luxurious hall, turns jungle flora into the center of attention, evoking to what extent its extraordinary natural forms perfectly interact with the candelabra and other elaborate ornaments of the room, such as the palace chandeliers.
In “Royal Love”, we experience a constant renewal through our sense of sight by witnessing the intersection between the luxury of flowers sold in popular markets and art, thus enjoying a most precious gift that emerges from the earth itself. "The installation," says Falcone, "extols the abundance of nature, of the Pachamama, name given to Mother Earth in the Andes, and unfolds the ceaseless benefaction of creation, for its infinite capacity to renew itself and bestow more and more upon us."
The influence of nature is also very present in the work of Pierre Bonnefille (Saint-Quentin, 1958). The series of works on paper presented, carried out between 2019 and 2021, is the result of an exploration of the microscopic. From mineral to animal, Pierre Bonnefille observes the relationship between matter, color and light on beetle shells and mineral fragments.
Like a watercolor, he transcribes them here using Japanese inks and natural pigments, creating colors of infinite depths through particular crystallization phenomenons.